Simplifying with the Kindle Paperwhite (Giveaway)

June 12, 2017

I consider myself a minimalist in many ways, but my biggest exception has always been books. It's the one thing that I never felt guilty about owning "too many" of. Over the years I've scoured secondhand shops for interesting titles, owned multiple copies of the same novels with different cover art, and I even have two ongoing Amazon wish lists (one for me, one for Ramona) filled with all the titles I'd like to one day read or own.

But as much as I love books, and as much as l love being surrounded by them, little by little over the past few months I've started simplifying our literary collection.

Suddenly the unabashed book hoarder that I once was started to feel some guilt creep in - at all the titles that sat untouched on our bookshelves after they'd been read, or waited to be read in the endless que. And if I'm honest with myself, the amount of book titles I want to read or own is surpassing the amount of physical space that I want them to fill. I mean, sure, in my wildest fantasties my ideal home would be the library in Beast's castle (Belle was my favourite Disney Princess, after all, for her love of books), but I think that actually owning that much of anything would give me anxiety.

So, the day finally came that I never believed would come: Minimalism infiltrated my library. Which is where the Kindle Paperwhite comes in.

To be honest, my first thought when I was offered a Kindle was the episode of The Office where Darryl buys an e-reader ("So light. Like a croissant."), and covertly tries to hide it from his coworkers, with some mixture of guilt and shame.

I think that book lovers (or me, at least) tend to feel like they're somehow betraying books by owning an e-reader, or like they're caught in the middle of a war between the past and future of technology. The very thought of reading a literary classic like Pride & Prejudice on an electronic device feels nothing short of treachery. But I also had to consider how much this tiny device could change my life - without diminishing my love of books by any measure. Even Darryl from The Office realized that.

“I work at a paper company. Those things terrify me. They could put us out of business. I heard those things hold like 10 books at once.”
“Actually, it’s 10,000.”
“Holy ####! What? Let me see it…”
(Later on)

This is a device that's smaller than a paperback, can store thousands of titles at a time (if I'm feeling particularly ambitious), and makes reading easy while traveling - or at night (thanks to the adjustable light), or awkwardly pinned beneath a snoring toddler. As someone who is a little timid to write in the margins of their books, I love the highlight and notes feature to save any quotes or passages that stand out to me.

With the Kindle Paperwhite, I can download the e-book of those lighter, modern reads, cook books, parenting books, magazines, biographies - or simply borrow them from the library through the convenience of home wi-fi. And meanwhile continue to pare down to a modest physical book collection of those truly special titles - the ones I need to tangibly feel in my hands to absorb again and again (or children's books - those get a lot of mileage around here these days). A nice balance of old and new technology, print and pixels, with no sacrifice of love for the written word.

The first e-book that I downloaded onto my Kindle Paperwhite was In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs.

"Success to me means being able to continue to do what I love. It means making meaningful work that promotes inclusivity and community."
Tanya Aguiniga
The women who share their story (in interview format) in this book come from diverse backgrounds, sharing parts of their individual stories of success, sacrifice, and motivation within their own businesses - it's both inspiring and empowering to read their words. It was the author's (Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge) desire to share the successes of women, but also to represent all women, after realizing that the majority of women in the business world being represented were "the same type of woman over and over again ... young, straight, white, cisgender women."
"While each woman's story is unique, their messages are universal. They've overcome adversity, gone great distances on their own, and learned the power of working together to achieve their goals. In many cases, they have inspired one another, and they are role models for the generation to come. Any one of these women would inspire someone to pursue their passion, but together, they are an undeniable force."
Grace Bonney; Author of In the Company of Women
When I look around, there is no shortage of female entrepenuers, creators, businesswomen, to be found. They've turned the things that they love, their interests, their lives even, into a business that allows them to further pursue those interests, to further stretch their creative goals. It's wonderful to see women collaborating and working with other women to build their business, and each other up, creating a supportive community of inclusion instead of competition (I say this as I set you all up to compete in a giveaway, ha).

I am excited to be giving away a $100 Amazon Canada gift card to one of my readers. To enter, follow the link below, and leave a comment answering one (or both of these questions).

- Who are the female mentors in your life?

- Who is your favourite female author who inspires you, and why?

$100 Amazon Canada Gift Card Giveaway

This contest will be open until the end of the day (midnight EST) Monday, June 19th. Open to Canadian residents only (sorry!). The winner will be contacted directly. Good luck!

*For this post I received a Kindle Paperwhite to review and credit. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.